Trinidad PM apologises to the region
CMC – Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar has apologised to the region for public comments she has made in the recent past few weeks.
Appearing on a radio programme in Jamaica on Monday night, the leader of the six-month-old coalition People’s Partnership government said her remarks were “most unfortunate”.
“I do apologise for the statements that have been taken in this regard. I remain committed to regional integration and to our CARICOM (Caribbean Community) brothers and sisters,” she said.
Attending her first regional heads of government conference since her coalition grouping won the May 24 general election in her country, Persad Bissessar said that regional countries should no longer regards Port of Spain as “An ATM card” and last month, she told reporters in her country that Port of Spain would provide aid to regional countries affected by Hurricane Tomas once it proved beneficial to the oil-rich twin island republic.
Persad Bissessar later said that her remarks about the aid to the Caribbean countries were taken out of context.
She told radio listeners in Jamaica that since the controversial comments were made, her administration has extended the hand of assistance in the form of several shiploads of containers dispatched to the islands affected and that Haiti would also receive assistance from Port of Spain.
“The way I envisioned it is that, I can only give from my home, I think St. Lucia Prime Minister Stephenson King put it in these words and I appreciate, when he said what Kamla is saying…that we don’t expect her to go out and shop for us and so she would give us goods and supplies out of Trinidad and Tobago, that is what I meant really. It is most unfortunate the way my comments have been received and I do apologise for that,” she said.